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We noticed that our kitchen appliances weren't working because a switch at the fuse box was off. It would not turn on at all, the switch would just trip back off every time we tried.

We turned off and unplugged all kitchen appliances and wall fuses which allowed the switch at the fuse box to turn back on. We then worked out that it was the dishwasher causing the problem.

Every time you would plug it in and turn it on the "kitchen appliances" switch at the fuse box would trip again. We also tried it with an extension cable from the living room and the whole house electricity went.

Therefore, we concluded it must be the dishwasher. However, the electrician is coming tomorrow so we thought we should test it again to be certain. Weirdly the dishwasher has now turned on and is currently running a cycle with nothing in it.

Questions:

  1. Why could the dishwasher now be working?
  2. Is it safe to use, or should we just leave it off?
  3. Could there be a bigger problem or fault with our fuse box?
  4. Any other ideas as to what is causing this?
  5. Should we just call an electrician?
  • Are the breakers that tripped GFCI, AFCI or Combination G and A FCI? My guess is something is loose inside the dishwasher or water is leaking internally into electrics. – Jim Stewart May 22 '17 at 0:24
  • Is it a portable dishwasher, or a permanently installed unit? If you moved it to unplug/plug it, you could have jiggled the wires and "fixed" a short-circuit. Since the electrician will likely be there soon, I'd let them investigate. – Tester101 May 22 '17 at 11:52
  • @JimStewart I'll check whether they are GFCI or AFCI when I get home this evening, thanks. – James Baker May 22 '17 at 12:26
  • @Tester101 It is a permanently installed unit. We didn't move or unplug it until after we worked out that it was causing the problem so I don't think that's it. The electrician is no longer coming. He just told us to ring if it trips out again. – James Baker May 22 '17 at 12:28
  • @JamesBaker Right, when you moved it to unplug it, and then moved it back to plug it in again. All that moving could have caused a wire that was shorted to shift, and prevent it from shorting anymore. That's why it could be working now. – Tester101 May 22 '17 at 12:45
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First it is NOT safe to use. You're GFCI, AFCI, and overcurrent protections (Breaker) are in place to protect you from shock and burn hazards. If they are tripping it means something is wrong and could be dangerous. So turn off the breaker and do not use the dishwasher.

An intermittent trip means you dishwasher is not safe under certain circumstance. In this case I would guess that during a cycle something is leaking water and shorting out. So when you allow it to dry out you can reset the breaker. Understand electrical problems do not fix themselves. It was smart of you to call out a skilled person to investigate the problem.

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